Skip to main content

Image / Miss Alhambra, Rita Rinaldi at Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, view 1

Have a question about this item?

Item information. View source record on contributor's website.

Miss Alhambra, Rita Rinaldi at Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, view 1
Alternative Title
Security Pacific National Bank Photo Collection
Date Created and/or Issued
Publication Information
Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Rights Information
Images available for reproduction and use. Please see the Ordering & Use page at for additional information.
Title supplied by cataloger.
Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, also known as the San Gabriel Mission, is a former Roman Catholic mission and current historic landmark; it was the fourth of 21 California missions to be founded. The founding date was September 8, 1771, and Padres Pedro Benito Cambon and Angel Fernandes de la Somera were the founding priests. The mission was built from 1791 to 1805 out of cut stone, brick, and mortar, and is the oldest structure of its kind south of Monterey, Ca. It was designed by Father Antonio Cruzado, and is often referred to as the "Godmother of the Pueblo of Los Angeles". Father Cruzado gave the building its strong Moorish architectural influence, with capped buttresses and tall, narrow windows, which are unique among the missions of the California chain. In the early mission era, it came to be known as the "Pride of the Missions" and became the wealthiest of all the early missions due to its large production of crops and trading of cattle hides and wine. On October 1, 1987 the Whittier Narrows Earthquake heavily damaged the mission, but it was fully restored between 1987 and 1993. Today, San Gabriel possesses perhaps the finest collection of mission relics in existence. It has a hammered copper baptismal font that was the gift of King Carlos III of Spain in 1771, and six priceless altar statues that were brought around the Horn from Spain in 1791. Mission San Gabriel Arcangel was added in 1971 as a National Historic Landmark, building #71000158. It is also a California Historical Landmark, No. 158. Two addresses are given for the mission: 428 South Mission Drive, and 537 West Mission Drive at Junipero Street.
View 1: Gowned like the Spanish sen~oritas of a century and a half ago, Rita Rinaldi is shown standing in front of the museum at the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel wearing an elaborate "peineta" (high ornamental comb) and a beautiful lace "mantilla" (lace scarve worn over the head and shoulders). Miss Rinaldi, the winner of a beauty contest, was crowned as Miss Alhambra, and it is likely she is one of the participants in "La Fiesta de San Gabriel" - an annual celebration which re-enacts Felipe de Neve's founding of Los Angeles on September 4, 1781. The adobe museum building she is standing next to was built in 1812 and was originally used for sleeping quarters and book storage. It was composed of a series of rooms: weaving rooms, the granary, carpenter shops, book storage, and sleeping quarters for the mission fathers. Many years later it would become the Mission's museum, housing exhibits, relics, priceless books dating back to 1489, religious artifacts, and a remarkable collection of garments worn by the mission fathers dating back to the 17th century.
1 photographic print :b&w ;14 x 11 cm. on sheet 26 x 21 cm.
Photographic prints
Security Pacific National Bank Collection
Missions-San Gabriel-Arcangel.; N-004-587.1 4x5
Mission San Gabriel Arcangel (San Gabriel, Calif.)
San Gabriel Fiesta (San Gabriel, Calif.)
Beauty contestants--California--San Gabriel
Missions, Spanish--California--San Gabriel
Church buildings--California--San Gabriel
Adobe houses--California--San Gabriel
Women--California--San Gabriel
Cruzado, Antonio
San Gabriel (Calif.)

About the collections in Calisphere

Learn more about the collections in Calisphere. View our statement on digital primary resources.

Copyright, permissions, and use

If you're wondering about permissions and what you can do with this item, a good starting point is the "rights information" on this page. See our terms of use for more tips.

Share your story

Has Calisphere helped you advance your research, complete a project, or find something meaningful? We'd love to hear about it; please send us a message.

Explore related content on Calisphere: